Leave it to Bose in order to come up with the most experimental products. Remember the Bose SoundWear Companion Wireless Speaker from 2017? Then, the Bose Frames came out in early 2019. Now, we have the Bose Sport Open Earbuds, which have the speakers sitting on top of your earlobes rather than inside your ears. This all sounds exciting, right?
No matter how much transparency the AirPods Pro or the Bose Quiet Comfort Earbuds have in certain modes, you can still feel them in your ears. So, when you put on the Sport Opens, your ears don’t feel clogged. But the effort to put them on is too much. Perhaps others will have an easier time, but I find myself constantly trying to make sure they are fitting correctly.
When you finally do get them on, they feel light as a feather — at least in the beginning. These certainly aren’t comfortable for wearing several hours at a time. Your ears will notice the weight more and more as time goes by, especially if you are exercising with them. However, different ears may experience different things.
Then, there’s the sound. It’s crystal clear, and it’s surprising that there is barely any audio leak until you turn the volume all the way up. If you are in a waiting room with people, they’ll barely notice the noise. But if you are falling asleep with the volume at more than 70 percent, your partner may be annoyed.
The biggest problem I have with the sound is the lack of bass. It’s the same lack of bass you experience with the Bose Frames. That’s not to say there isn’t any bass at all, and many might not mind. But if you are coming from Beats headphones and listening to hip-hop, you’ll definitely be disappointed.
Then, there are the phone calls. The three people who I called said they could understand me but could easily tell I was on a Bluetooth device. When I was in a windy area, my friend said she could easily hear the wind as much as my voice. If you have used the AirPods Pro or many other recent headsets from Apple and Bose, you will be disappointed at the call quality.
The most troubling thing about the Bose Sport Open Earbuds is that you’ll love the compact case they come in. However, you’ll be easily disappointed when you realize the case doesn’t charge the buds. There is a separate charging station for that, and you better carry it around with you all the time since the battery life lasts about 8 hours. That’s good when compared to other earbuds, but not so good considering the size of these.
While the Sport Open Earbuds may become another Bose niche product, one has to give credit to the company for constantly experimenting while hitting more high notes than lows. Perhaps, if the Sport Open Earbuds were cheaper, they could be recommended. But at $199, earbud fanatics should stay far away.